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Chevrolet Aveo U-VA 1.2 LT

9th Sep 2009 7:00 am

Size and space is what makes the U-VA stand out from its main rivals and the 1


  • Make : Chevrolet
  • Model : Aveo U-VA

The U-VA has a distinctively European look about it. The steeply raked windscreen which flows into the bonnet gives it an MPV-ish look. Unlike the distinctly two-box Swift, the U-VA has similar proportions to the Getz. It has a particularly long wheelbase of 2480mm, which augurs well for interior space.

Though it’s not as stylish as the Swift, the U-VA has more design flair than the conventional-looking Getz. The chiselled nose has a wedginess similar to the Aveo. The headlamps with the turn indicators integrated into them look superb and other stylistic touches include the prominent crease across the doors that drop down to the rear wheel arches. The flared wheel arches, muscular rear flanks, shapely C-pillar with quarter-glass all add up to make the U-VA an attractive-looking hatch.

The U-VA’s suspension hardly challenges convention. It is the conventional MacPherson strut set-up in front and a torsion beam axle with gas shocks at the rear. However, GM India has testes the U-VA over thousands of kilometers to arrive at an India-spec set-up for the dampers and springs. Brakes are again standard fare — a disc/drum combo — but anti-lock along with the a driver’s airbag is offered as an option on the top-end LT.

The bright and spacious cabin is the first thing that strikes you. The all-round glass area is quite generous and the quarter-windows, which cut into the C-pillar, allow in some extra light, adding to an airy feel of the interiors. However, the interiors are let down by dull grey plastics which don’t particularly look and feel upmarket.

The well-finished centre console and the mock carbonfibre trim on the inside door handles and around the power window switches are of high quality. The switches feel pretty solid and we love the hooded speedo and tachometer.
The interior design has a circular theme, which works quite well. The air con vents,  doorpads, door handles and, of course, the dashboard instruments all have a circular element which give the insides some identity.

GM India has worked on the air con and blower motor to improve cooling and it shows. The air conditioner cools the cabin down quickly, even on hot days, and the air flow and vents can be angled to direct airflow where you want it.
The driver’s seat is very comfortable, with adequate thigh and back support. You are in a good position to start off and the steering is adjustable for rake, making things easier. Sadly, there’s no height adjust for the seat
The Chevy’s rear seats are high-set and the window line is low, so you get a good outside view. However, they could have been more comfortable. Though the seating position is good and there’s good thigh room, the seat back is unduly hard and there’s an excess of lower back support.
The flipside of maximised passenger space is that the boot is small and to make matters worse, the suspension towers intrude badly into the U-VA’s boot area. With its 220-litre capacity, it will just about hold one large suitcase and a few soft bags and that’s with the parcel shelf removed. The seats do have a 60:40 split/fold function which gives you some flexibility.

Around town, the U-VA rides well enough. It is not as choppy as the Swift, but at slow speeds, the softly-sprung Getz rides slightly better. The suspension is clunky, but it gets the job done without transferring too many shocks to the occupants.
Things improve as speeds increase and it feels well planted the faster you go and high-speed stability is particularly good. The U-VA doesn’t feel skittish like the Swift on poor surfaces and neither is it as soft as the Getz. The 185/60-R14 tyres on the top-of-the-line LT offer decent grip but lower models will get far narrower and less grippy 155/80-R13 rubber.

The U-VA’s superb stability and benign handling give the driver a lot of confidence but what is missing is the sense of fun you get in the more agile Swift. The U-VA’s steering is quite mushy and not very direct and hence doesn’t lend itself to spirited driving. So, if you’re looking for a car that will entertain you when road conditions allow, you will be disappointed. ABS is standard on the U-VA in LT trim. The brakes have good feedback and it is easy to modulate them. The U-VA came to a halt in a decent 29 metres from 80kph.

Chevrolet Aveo U-VA 1.2 LT
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